Clinical Negligence Solicitors: How to Choose the Right Solicitor for your Case
Most people are happy with the treatment they receive from their healthcare professionals. But mistakes do happen and they can be very distressing. If the mistakes have caused you physical injury or emotional suffering, then you may decide to make a compensation claim.
Clinical negligence solicitors are a vital part of the preparation of your claim. They gather evidence, liaise with medical experts, follow litigation protocols and handle every aspect of the clinical negligence claim. The solicitor is responsible for negotiating your settlement and securing the best possible outcome for your case.
Not every solicitor has the skills and experience to handle a complex clinical negligence claim. Choosing a specialist firm of clinical negligence solicitors with the right knowledge and understanding can make things much easier.
What is clinical negligence?
Clinical negligence is when a doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional makes a mistake when they shouldn’t have, and their mistake hurts you in some way.
There are two parts to clinical negligence:
- The care or treatment you received was poor and fell below the standard expected of a competent healthcare practitioner; and
- You were physically or mentally hurt as a result of the substandard treatment.
Clinical negligence can happen by the actions of an individual healthcare practitioner such as a doctor, nurse, surgeon, psychiatrist, physiotherapist, health visitor, dentist or laboratory technician. Or it can happen by the actions of a healthcare service, such as the NHS or a mental health team.
Below are some common examples of clinical negligence.
- You GP did not notice symptoms of a serious illness or failed to refer you for tests
- Your doctor gave you the wrong treatment and this caused you harm
- The hospital discharged you too early and your illness or condition got worse
- Your GP prescribed the wrong medicine and you had a bad reaction to it
- A surgeon made a mistake during surgery
- You were not warned about the risks of a particular treatment
- You did not give your consent to the treatment you received.
The injury needs to be serious enough to justify the cost of pursuing a clinical negligence claim. If your injury is minor and you recover within a few weeks, and you don’t lose any money (such as wages) because of it, then it is probably not worth taking legal action.
If I have suffered clinical negligence, what action can I take?
If a medical mistake has happened to you, then understandably you might be very angry. You may want various things to happen, such as:
- An explanation
- An apology and assurance that the same mistake will not be made again
- Dismissal or disciplinary action to be taken against the person who caused you harm
- Forcing a healthcare facility to change how it works
- Compensation for your pain and suffering.
It is important to understand that making a clinical negligence compensation claim is only about getting compensation for the harm or injury you experienced. It will not give you an apology, and you might not even get a proper explanation as to what went wrong.
If you want anything other than compensation, you should consider making a formal complaint. Under the NHS constitution, you have the right to make a complaint and to have it thoroughly investigated. If the complaint is upheld, it may result in the apology or change in practice that you seek.
For details of how to make a complaint regarding NHS services, please visit NHS choices. You do not need a solicitor to make a formal complaint but if you are thinking about making a compensation claim, then you should speak to a solicitor first. Making a complaint is a good way of finding out what happened to you and whether there was any negligence. It can help your solicitor to decide whether there is any foundation for a legal claim.
Private medical institutions will operate their own complaints procedure. Start by speaking to the private doctor or the manager of the private facility that provided your care.
Why choose a specialist clinical negligence solicitor?
Clinical negligence is a highly specialist and complex area of law. It demands medical as well as legal knowledge, and sensitivity towards the feelings of injured patients who have been harmed by negligent treatment. It is crucial that you appoint a solicitor who specialises in clinical negligence and who understands the legal and medical issues involved.
Too often, Claimants are badly let down by solicitors who take on clinical negligence cases they are not able to handle. Specialist clinical negligence solicitors are much more likely to be able to properly investigate your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
How do you find the best clinical negligence solicitors?
It is sometimes difficult to find the best clinical negligence solicitors for your claim because numerous law firms say that they deal with clinical negligence. In fact, this is not always true. Some firms handle a wide range of personal injury claims including car accidents, trips and falls, faulty products, holiday accidents and accidents at work. They might handle only one or two clinical negligence claims each year. This is not enough for them to develop expertise.
The best advice is to find a clinical negligence solicitor who has an established reputation and a demonstrated track record in medical negligence litigation, such as The Medical Negligence Experts.
Reputable clinical negligence solicitors will offer you a free initial consultation, without obligation, and will be happy to take the time to chat with you. You can use this time to gather all the information you need to make an informed decision about which solicitor to appoint.
What qualifications do the best clinical negligence solicitors have?
To effectively represent you, your clinical negligence solicitor must have comprehensive knowledge of all the laws, court rules and conventions that relate to medical negligence. The best clinical negligence solicitors will have spent years negotiating with insurance companies and the NHS Litigation Authority, and they will have a proven track record of winning clinical negligence compensation claims.
It is not enough that your solicitor has a law degree and the relevant professional qualifications. The best clinical negligence solicitors:
- Will have years of hands-on experience
- Will work exclusively or primarily in the field of clinical negligence
- Will have access to a range of medical experts and up-to-date legal resources to ensure that their advice is timely and accurate
- Will have a network of contacts who can help with rehabilitation, pain management, counselling and financial support which may be crucial to helping you to get better; and
- Will be willing to give you references and share the testimonials of clients they have helped in the past
- Will speak honestly about your case, both the good and the bad, and not overstate your chances of making a successful claim
- Will not cold call you or pressure you into accepting their services or making a claim you are unsure about.
What other qualities should I ask about?
There are additional factors you should consider when you are looking for a clinical negligence solicitor to act on your behalf. The chances are, you will be going through a tough time. The last thing you need is a solicitor who does not treat you with the sensitivity and respect you deserve.
Many of the top clinical negligence solicitors chose this area of the law because they genuinely want to help people who have suffered injury due to medical negligence. In addition to being technically excellent and well-informed, you should look for someone who:
- Listens to you
- Explains the legal process so you always know what is going on with your claim
- Gives you clear and straightforward advice
- Is considerate and empathetic
- Can visit you at home if you have mobility issues
- You get on well with and are happy to trust.
How do I know that my clinical negligence solicitor is as good as they say they are?
A solicitor’s body of work is the best proof that they have been successful in pursuing clinical negligence cases in the past. The best advice is to ask about previous cases, especially those that are similar to yours.
Find out about the number of clinical negligence cases the solicitor has handled, and ask about their success record. If possible, ask to be put in touch with clients who have used the solicitor’s services in the past.
What if I’m not happy with my current firm of clinical negligence solicitors?
There are many reasons why you might not be happy with your current firm of clinical negligence solicitors. Perhaps they have misunderstood the medicine and have instructed the wrong expert. Or perhaps they have not included all your losses and have undervalued your claim. These experiences can have a very stressful effect, especially if you believed that you had instructed the right solicitor for your claim.
Be assured that you have the right to change your clinical negligence solicitor at any point if you are unhappy with their service. This may need to be approved by your insurer if your legal costs are being covered by a legal expenses insurance policy.
Will I have to pay clinical negligence solicitors’ fees upfront?
Conditional Fee Arrangement: Most reputable clinical negligence solicitors will take your case on a No Win, No Fee basis. This mean that they won’t charge a fee at the beginning of the case. Instead, the clinical negligence solicitors are paid with a percentage of the compensation money recovered if you win the case.
The percentage should always be explained to you before you hire a clinical negligence solicitor on a No Win, No Fee basis – and it should never be greater than 25%. Our panel of expert clinical negligence solicitors all work on a competitive percentage and will always be transparent regarding any costs to you and your family.
There are other costs involved with preparation of your case including court fees, copying medical records and hiring medical experts and possibly a barrister to support your case. If you win your claim, these expenses are usually paid by the losing side. However, due to our No Win No Fee agreement, you don’t have to worry about upfront costs.
Specialist clinical negligence solicitors deal with insurance companies day in, day out and will be able to arrange the best policy to suit your needs, if this is right for your case.
Now that you have answers to your questions, it is time to find the best clinical negligence solicitors to handle your case. Here at the Medical Negligence Experts, our dedicated panel of specialist clinical negligence solicitors have the right experience, expertise and knowledge to get you the best monetary recovery for your losses. We work hard to provide a superior level of support throughout, keeping the procedure simple, straightforward and most importantly stress-free.
You only get one chance to bring a claim so it is important that you get the very best representation. Please contact our expert team of solicitors here who will give you all the information you need to proceed.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have suffered from medical negligence in the past 3 years, the short answer is yes.
However, medical negligence can be complicated, so we recommend that you speak with one of our expert solicitors - It’s Free.
How much could I claim?
As every medical case is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: Level of negligence, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our experienced team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party of your claim against them. With your dedicated solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be kept up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use us?
No Win No Fee
We offer a No Win No Fee* service on all our claims - We assess each claim on its merits with the information provided, which aids us to determine its likely success rate. This takes the risk away from you.
Our experienced solicitors are experts in securing compensation no matter the level of negligence.
We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you, while providing friendly support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
On contact, you will be allocated your own expert Medical Negligence solicitor who will be there every step of the way. You will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of your solicitor.
Expert clinical negligence solicitors working for you
We specialise in helping victims of medical negligence claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay! Once you make contact, your experienced solicitor will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Whether you are ready to make a medical negligence claim, or you would just like a free conversation with a legal professional, we have experts on hand to give you all the information you need. Take the first step to getting what you deserve by filling in our quick contact form and we will call you back whenever suits you.